World Bank Report: An Indictment of The Supreme Court!

One needs only to read the report of the World Bank about its loans of P900 Million  to the Supreme Court to find out that the Court had misprioritized the disbursements of the money instead of devoting it to improve the  delivery of justice in the country.  And that the Supreme Court performance regarding the management of the funds  in 2010-11, at a time that CJ Renato Corona was the  head of the Court already, was “unsatisfactory” and the loan considered  a “high risk.”

The issue of whether such report was officially released by the World Bank or not  does not argue against its existence.  As a lender, the Bank is only monitoring the disbursement of the funds.  As a matter of policy, it could not be expected to join in the intramurals  of the host country.  The quality of the information is not diminished simply because the disclosure of information was “unofficial.”  The information itself should be the measure of its own worth.

Here is Annex 4 of the World Bank Report I have copied from Rappler.Com.

 “This Review identifies fiduciary failures which appear to have begun in 2010 and accelerated in 2011. From mid-2010, project decision-making became more centralized; Program Management Office (PMO) capacity deteriorated;  lack of segregation of functions  caused a breakdown in the internal control environment and elimination of internal checks and balances; questionable procurement and expenditure decisions led to ineligible expenditures, retroactive contracts, uncontrolled commitments, increase risks of contingent liabilities and potential for over-commitment of project funds; vendor payments were delayed; and project account difference between Court offices remained un-reconciled. As a result, the quality of project implementation and the reliability of project financial information deteriorated. Ad hoc/unplanned use of projects is exemplified by IT goods procurements during 2010-2011 – some were not agreed with the World Bank or reflected in the procurement plan or were not connected with the project developments objectives, and 62% by value was procured not for front-line judges and court personnel who desperately need such equipment for backlog reduction and case management, but for the Supreme Court and appellate courts in Manila, in small lots.  A clear picture of commitments, contingent liabilities, impact of exchange rate losses and the quantum of uncommitted project funds is no longer available, and the project financial statements cannot be relied upon. The review confirms that the project fiduciary environment has deteriorated to an extent that project management, project procurement and project financial management are now rated “high risk” and “unsatisfactory”  The PMO is requested to point out any factual errors or omissions in this Review.”

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